Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week in Review

58 Miles
5 x 1000m repeats at 320-325 on Dilworth Speed Loop
Brooklyn Half in 1:16:20, 4th place
No Long Run

The big event this week was the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon.  My mileage dropped down to about 60 miles as I tapered so I would be somewhat more rested for this effort.  The goal leading into the race was the start at 5:50 and then to drop down to 5:45 and 5:40 for the finish.  Long story short: I did not do that.

I started out around 5:45 / 5:50 pace, ran some high 5:55s through the hilly section in Prospect Park, and then when I reached Ocean Blvd, it was all I could do to maintain 5:51.  This was my first race in NYC and I really enjoyed the experience, even though I didn't run what I wanted.  I really would like to do this race again when I know that I'm in better shape!  It's a great course with lots of fast ladies and guys to push me the entire way.

The highlight of the race was definitely around mile 9, when a cyclist cheered for me by calling me by my name.  I thought to myself, who the hell knows me in Brooklyn?  I turned my head to catch a glimpse of this miracle worker.  From the flowing brown hair that is longer than mine, I knew it was Eric Mack who lives in Raleigh.  He cheered for me at a crucial moment in time, where I wanted to stop pushing hard and just slow the pace down.  His familiar face, combined with his shouts of encouragement gave me just what I needed to maintain a decent pace coming in to the finish.  Additionally, a nice man decided to push me to the finish line and even slowed up at the line so that I could finish ahead of him.  There was definitely all sorts of sportsmanship exhibited throughout the course, which is the number one reason why I want to do this race next year.

As I said earlier, even though I was unable to run my goal, I am still very pleased with this effort.  Just 4 weeks ago, I was running in the 108 degrees of sweltering heat in India and attending classes for 10 hours a day.  It's tough to come back from a trip like that and to run hard for thirteen whole miles.  Heading into summer, I am looking forward to focusing on speed by racing at the Running of Bulls 8k on May 30 and at the Beat the Heat 5k on July 25.  Additionally, in just four weeks I'll be heading to Istanbul, Turkey with Garrett for a week and then for classes for nine days.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week in Review

70 miles
3 x 2.5M in 5:43 pace for 14.3M total
11.2M MLR 
13.8M with 4 miles tempo with Billy
3rd wedding 

I just keep on feeling better and better with each step I take.  I feel so fortunate that I did not get sick upon returning from India, as I did when I returned from China.  It's just made the transition back to my normal work and training schedule so much easier!  This week Coach had outlined a pretty tough workout which would help prepare me mentally for the Brooklyn half in just ten days.  I was a bit nervous and my legs were definitely tired, but both Billy and I surprised ourselves and ran faster than we were expecting. It was a great way to start the week and gave me the confidence I need to run a decent time at the Brooklyn half.  Billy and I continued our workout partnership later in the week when we did a 14 miler with a little 4 mile progression thrown in the middle.  It wasn't easy, but it was humid and sticky out and we got it done without quitting.  Overall, I'm right where I want to be with my fitness, especially given my schedule.  I've also been able to hang out with my only non-running friend a bit, as you can see in the selfie below.  This is definitely my strategy to find Kishor a girlfriend.

Enjoying some free snacks from Duke with Kishor

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week in Review

70 Miles
8x800m repeats in 2:48-2:36 with 200m/400m rest
12.3M MLR
15.6M long run with Meagan in the Asheville mountains

It was my first week back with a real workout and I was happy to "crush" it.  Of course, coach had given me pretty loose goals since he didn't know how I would feel after the travel back from India.  I felt confident when I came off the Duke Track and felt like I hadn't lost that much fitness while in India.  That's always a good feeling.  Over the weekend, Garrett and I drove to Asheville for Mark Russell's wedding and we enjoyed the mountain weather and catching up with old Wake Forest teammates.  We especially enjoyed the delicious food and great running trails!

Garrett's swollen lips after eating really hot sauce in Asheville

mountain run in asheville with Meagan

Wake Forest Track at Mark Russell's wedding

Showing off our beautiful bods

May or may not have fed Jared about 5 rose petals during the sendoff

What do you do when the gas station bathroom is closed? Walk on over to the porto-johns across the street of course!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

(welcome back to USA) Week in Review

60 miles
16M long run in 6:52 pace
8M with 5 laps of curves easy / straights fast on the track

Coming back from international travel is always hard.  It's especially hard when you barely got any sleep.  Take my schedule for the last 10 days:  I attended class from 8AM - 6PM, then I had to meet with my teammates to start and complete assignments that were due the following morning, and then I had to wake up for a morning run before repeating the same process again.  You might say "well, Caitlin, you didn't have to run."  Well, that's true, I guess…But I don’t want to lose fitness.  After all, I have the Olympic Trials in February and every single mile I run is a small step the propels me closer to my dreams.  So that's why I still ran in India, even though some days sleep sounded like such a better idea.  And I've got to say, I have never appreciated fresh air and clear, blue skies as much as I did on my run on Tuesday morning.  Don't get me wrong - I am so grateful for every single moment I've spent abroad.  But in doing so it just makes me appreciate the little things here even more.

But back to my original point, it was extremely difficult to adjust to being back home.  Even though I slept a full 8-9 hours of sleep every night, for the first four days of the week, I was completely ready for bed around 6PM every single night and found myself crawling into bed around 8PM, which was the point at which I could not ignore my heavy eyelids.  My runs felt like total death and the legs were completely trashed.  I hopped on the track on Tuesday to do merely five laps of work and I felt like I may pass out.  I ran the shortest possible route back home and crawled immediately into bed.  This was the basic theme through the whole week.  I somehow managed to still squeak in 16 miles at a solid pace.  Although Coach T-Bone had etched in a progression tempo, I knew that wasn't in the cards and adjusted accordingly so that I could just at least hit the goal distance he had prescribed for me.  I'm looking forward to another week of coming back so that I can be ready to toe the line at Brooklyn half in just three weeks!

I was so happy to have dark, leafy greens again!

A little hike at Eno River State park 

Guillermo and Merry greeted me at home!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

(India) Week in Review

50 miles
9.3M long run with tempo workout on treadmill
0 days off
5 runs with Katie
2 runs with Nick

1 trip to the Taj Mahal

This week can best be summarized by photos and a few quick bullet points on what I learned
  • Indian weddings are beautiful celebrations.  I wish I could have had one!
  • The people in India are so inclusive, nice and accommodating.  I had pleasant experiences with every single person I encountered.  I loved the people and their attitude.  The chef every single day at the hotel came to check to make sure I was getting enough lential daal and steamed vegetables.  We became instant friends. :-)
  • The pollution is 100x worse than China, but running is totally possible.  The India gate and the presidential palace have some great stretches of land to get miles in.  
  • The food here is the best food I've had in any other country.  At Bukhara (my favorite restaurant), it was totally acceptable for me to do what I always do - eat with my hands!  It will be hard to go back to states because there is no way I will find this quality of Indian food and spices!  
  • The country is so colorful.  Even if some of the women are covered head to toe, they are doing it in such style and with such...happiness!  The colors made me happy.  
  • Indian men are much more open-minded about human touch than westerners.  Guys hold hands and cuddle and they are not gay - they're just loving! They are comfortable with who they are and showing their affections for friends, regardless of whether they are male or female.  

At the temple

Taj Mahal - photo by Nick Alcantarra

Taj Mahal entrance

quite a celebrity at the Taj Mahal

Bukhara - the best India food I've ever had in my life

A Punjabi India wedding - groom on a white mare

Camel Cab at Taj mahal

Running at the India Gate

Nick ran with me!

Jamie and I are the waterholics of the class

Kishor with his favorite ladies

Class Prez and Section leader!

Class leaders prepping for student town hall

Sunday, April 12, 2015

(Dubai) Week in Review

43 miles
24 hours of travel = 1 Day off from running
4 nights in Dubai
3 nights in New Delhi

So with the launch of every term, I always try to see one other country since I'm paying all of this money to fly all the way across the world for school.  This time around, I was fortunate enough to have a trip planned for me and 25 of my classmates to visit Dubai.  Sara and her husband were kind and gracious enough to put together a full itinerary of two days full of fun:  dune bashing and riding a yacht!  I kicked off the trip with a nice run in the morning with Katie and Claire around the marina, where tons of stay-at-home moms from an assortment of countries were walking their babies in really fancy strollers.  Dubai features a diverse mix of people, with some women wearing the traditional hijabs and others wearing European styles.  I was completely fine running in a sports bra and shorts and I don't believe I offended anyone.  Dubai is a place where the East meets the West, and where the Sheikh has made tremendous progress bringing wealth and prosperity to a tiny country.  It was eye-opening to be in a country in the middle east and see so much success.  All of my runs in Dubai were hot and I eventually got a sore throat and cold from the cigarette smoke.  Other than that, I really enjoyed my time there.

The fun eventually had to come to an end, so my classmates and I packed up our things (including our books and laptops) and hopped on another plane to Delhi.  For the first two days, we didn't have as many activities planned just in case some students had difficulty arriving from flight delays.  We participated in a rickshaw tour, attended a welcome party where we got to dance to traditional Indian music and  kicked off our fourth term with new professors.  Overall the food was absolutely amazing and the people were so nice and inclusive!  

Group in Dubai!

Claire, Katie and me after dune bashing in dubai desert

Burj Kalifa - tallest building in the world!

Dubai from the yacht

Pre-reading period on the yacht

jumping off a boat is always better holding hands

ready for the rickshaw tour 
walking through old delhi was the highlight of my trip in Delhi!

the welcome dinner to delhi

Before Kris and I decided to hop off and walk through Old Delhi

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week in Review

80 Miles
14M with 4 miles tempo and 2 miles of 200m on/off
18M long run in Salem with Meagan
12.4M MLR in Durham

This was the first time I hit over 80 miles since September of last year.  Of course, this was planned purposefully since I departed for Dubai on Sunday night of this week.  I wanted to get in a solid week of training before travelling to Dubai and India for my fourth Duke MBA residency.  My classes this term are Marketing and Decision Models, along with the courses I have every term, Cultures, Civilizations and Leadership as well as Global Markets and Institutions. 

Leading up to my departure, it was a bit hectic, but I handled the stress with a calm confidence that it would all work out.  I flew up to Boston for a working session at offices downtown before taking the train to hang out with Meagan until Saturday.  I enjoyed a nice day at the Craft USA offices in Salem, MA and got a taste of what it's like to work for a small company.  On Saturday, I finally got to meet all of Meagan's wonderful running friends and even made them a solid brunch of sweet potato hash, pancakes with homemade whipped cream and eggs.  Meagan and I spent a lot of time in her bed reading, watching HBO, napping or cuddling with her cat Weezy. If you ask me, that sounds like a perfect weekend to me.  I finished up some of the remaining pre-assignments I had for class before heading back home on my flight.  

a nice day at the craft offices

happy to receive my skechers performance gear!